Reimagining live sports through the power of 5G
5G VISTA reimagines live sports and spectator experiences using the power of 5G
5G VISTA (Video in Stadia Technical Architecture) is a government-backed project exploring how to deliver a more interactive and broader range of content to sports fans. Through the integration of 5G, 5G VISTA brings live sports to a new level, demonstrating clear benefits to users, increasing the channels of engagement, whilst showcasing new in-stadia digital experiences.
Using 5G LTE feMBMS (further evolved multimedia broadcast multicast service), 5G VISTA enhances fan experiences and creates an innovative and exciting dimension to live sports. This includes allowing viewers enjoy instant replays via smartphones during stadium events, and access an unprecedented amount of content instantaneously at their fingertips – from a choice of multiple camera angles to in-depth background info on their team.
Not only does 5G Broadcast technology allow spectators to get even closer to the action at live events; it has the potential to offer solutions to a number of pain points experienced by broadcasters and TV crews at events venues and stadiums. This includes overcoming challenges associated with cabling and network complexity, and unstable 4G networks during events with a large number of attendees.
5G VISTA also demonstrates how 5G Broadcast can contribute to reducing carbon emissions by decreasing the number of base stations, and the amount of spectrum needed to deliver content to mass audiences.
Led by Digital TV Group (DTG), the VISTA project is part of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) 5G Testbeds and Trials programme, a £200 million investment in testbeds and trials across the UK to explore novel implementations of 5G across different sectors.
This collaboration of leading organisations brings together complementary skills, knowledge and experience from across the whole mobile media delivery ecosystem, from devices to networks to broadcast to content and venues.
- Digital Catapult for the 5G testbed network, validation of the business cases and assessment of further applications and market verticals
- DTG as project management, coordination and collaboration with the creative industries
- GWS for consumer research from an MNO perspective
- Rohde & Schwarz to provide equipment, systems and expertise for a multicast/broadcast overlay network based on FeMBMS
- O2 as a Mobile Network Operator and will provide 4G & 5G network solutions for the project and have a strong link to live sport, and music experiences will provide the final showcase venue
In February 2022, the 5G VISTA project team completed a successful trial at a live football match at the 30,400-seat MK Dons football stadium.
A group of fans at the match between MK Dons and Ipswich Town were able to try out a prototype of the 5G VISTA app – allowing them to view six, high-quality live streams of different perspectives of the game – including behind the scenes footage – with the tap of a screen.
The completion of the technical trial was followed by a final showcase of the project on 14th February as part of the MK5G Create event in the Marshall Arena, also at Stadium MK.
5G VISTA has made really critical strides towards a future where connectivity woes at large scale events are a thing of the past. Thanks to hard work across the consortium, we have proved that 5G Broadcast offers an efficient and cost-effective alternative to other cellular solutions being deployed at sporting events – existing options that can really break the bank for a network provider.Kostas Katsaros Lead 5G Technologist at Digital Catapult
As part of 5G VISTA, Digital Catapult produced a report looking at 5G’s potential to revolutionise the way fans interact with content at live sporting events – including football and motor racing.
The report examines considerations for 5G Broadcast technology’s widespread rollout at sporting events, pinpointing current challenges and opportunities associated with its adoption.
It also assesses how the 5G VISTA project can achieve a commercially viable product to take to market, and deliver innovative, high-quality and reliable 5G services to customers.
Digital Catapult publishes a report examining the 5G ecosystem at live events.
Formula 1® will work with Digital Catapult to explore 5G solutions to events industry challenges.